OK, this whole errandonneering thing is just plain fun! Not only does it force me out on my bike but it also forces me to blog more often. And, with blogging more often comes yet another challenge: finding appropriate song titles for each blog post – this stuff doesn’t happen by accident, you know.
Today, I will admit to a rather tenuous link to the song title and I’m not quite sure it qualifies as a song per se but it’s brilliant none the less. It’s a real shame the actual clip from The Simpsons isn’t available because it’s one of my favourite bits of TV, ever.
“Seeeee my vest, see my vest…”
Huh? What? Oh, sorry, I got a little distracted there for a moment.
Before we go any further, I think it’s about time we had a quick roundup of my errandonneering activities so far:
- karma police | errand: commute to / from work | category: work | miles: 16 | thing I learned / observed: cycling in the city sucks but cycling in the ‘burbs is great | bonus: completed after dark
- two out of three ain’t bad (also covers errands 3 & 4) | errand: getting cash from the cashpoint | category: personal care and health | miles: 25 (combined for errands 2-4) | thing I learned / observed: working a cashpoint with winter cycling gloves isn’t easy
- errand: collecting my cycling jacket from the tailor | category: any store that is not the grocery store | thing I learned / observed: I’ll never, EVER be using that place again
- errand: picking up new parts from the bike shop | category: bike shop | thing I learned / observed: squirrels are mischievous
- not what I wanted | errand: buying an emergency shirt for work | category: any store that isn’t the grocery store | miles: 6 | thing I leaned / observed: it’s best to check what you’re buying before you pay for it
So, with 5 days to go, I’ve completed 5 of my required 12 errands, covered 47 miles which already exceeds the required 30 miles, done 1 of the 2 recommended ‘after dark’ errands and used 4 of the 7 required different categories.
Phew. And I thought this was going to be easy!
Errand #6 is really a re-run of errand #3 as I couldn’t collect my jacket first time around but, as I’ve already used the ‘any store that isn’t the grocery store’ category the maximum permissible 2 times, we’ll have to put this one down in the ‘wild card’ category.
And, here’s some proof. It cost me a mahoosive £35 to have a new zip fitted to my Gore Phantom II soft shell jacket after the last one finally gave way after years of loyal service.
Zip go down.
Zip go up.
Zip go down.
Why would I go the trouble (and expense) of having a new zip fitted? Because, other than that, the jacket is still in near perfect condition depsite having been worn for just about every ride I’ve been on over the last few years. In the winter, it keeps me warm. In the rain, it keeps me dry. In the cool spring & summer months, I unzip the sleeves and wear it as a gillet. The pockets are plenty big enough for my wallet, phone, keys & a banana or two and there’s enough reflective material to make me visible to other road users and not a inch of flourescent yellow in sight.
Here’s a gratuitous shot of me wearing it with the sleeves removed, for no particular reason.
Errand #6: picking up my cycling jacket from the tailor (again) | category: wild card | miles: 20 (I went for a pootle in the woods on the way back) | thing I learned / observed: not all squirrels are mischievous.
You see, after picking up my jacket, I took my Surly Troll out for a shakedown ride to test the new parts I’d picked up in errand #4.
Errand #7: taking the Troll out for a shakedown ride | category: wild card | miles: 20 (combined with errand #6) | thing I learned / observed: my mountain biking skills are as rusty as a 30 year old Volkswagen but my new off road tyres [given to me for free by my friends in the bike shop] are brilliant!
Here’s a gratuitous shot of my Surly Troll avec non-mischievous squirrel, this one didn’t mind posing for a photo at all.